Ankiel passes through waivers

Thursday, April 7, 2005

HOUSTON -- Rick Ankiel signed a minor league contract Wednesday with the St. Louis Cardinals and will work on his conversion from a pitcher to an outfielder.

Removed from the major league roster Monday, Ankiel cleared unconditional release waivers Wednesday, then re-signed later in the day. The Cardinals plan to send him to their Class AA farm team in Springfield, Mo.

Ankiel will spend a few more days at the Cardinals' spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla., before reporting to the club.

He decided last month to end his pitching career but the Cardinals persuaded him to play in the outfield.

Ankiel, 25, was always considered a very good hitter for a pitcher, with a .207 career average and two homers, a double, a triple and nine RBIs in 87 at-bats.

-- AP

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